In recent years there has been a significant increase in the number of people who are inclined to develop physical activities such as Pilates. This sport has become almost a fashion, and although it has more and more followers, the reality is that many of us do not know what Pilates is and what it is for, nor are we clear about its benefits and all that this sport can do to improve our joint mobility and muscle response.
For this reason, we are going to develop it simply so that, in addition to practicing it as a hobby, we can appreciate all that this discipline can do for our health.
What is Pilates and what is it for?
This discipline emerged in the 20th century by the German Joseph Hubertus Pilates. He was in charge of devising this technique while trying to merge an activity that included muscular strength, mental and corporal relaxation, and breathing.
With these exercises, Pilates sought to harmonize, becoming aware of ourselves through breathing.
Pilates is not only an exercise to relax in times of stress. Thanks to it we can improve the health of our bones and joints. This technique places special emphasis on the care of our spine, helping to keep our back healthy and strong.
Thus, Pilates is not only an exercise that you can find in most gyms, but it is also a very useful technique to cure muscular pain or correct body posture. Thanks to its practice we can learn to improve our body posture to avoid future ailments and improve our daily wellbeing.
Types of Pilates: on the floor or with machines
Pilates is a very broad discipline that encompasses different ways of doing it. There is no single way of exercising in Pilates and it is good to find the technique that best suits your needs.
You can do it with or without machines, on the floor, and with or without accessories. The most common way of doing Pilates consists of being part of a group with an instructor who develops and explains the different exercises. There is also the possibility of individual classes with a private instructor who will review your movements one by one.
In Pilates, we differentiate between two different styles: the one that is done with machines and the one that is practiced on the floor:
- Pilates with machines or Pilates Reformer: to perform this type of Pilates the practitioner must know their physical condition so that they can adapt the machines to perform the exercises correctly and without injury. It is recommended to start with Pilates Reformer if you have never practiced this sport before, accompanied by an instructor if possible.
- Pilates on the floor: to practice this discipline you will only need a mat or matting. It is possible to incorporate some additional elements during the session to strengthen certain areas. These accessories are usually elastic bands or balls to work on strength and the spine.
Benefits of Pilates
This is one of the techniques that you can practice in the gym or in a pilates studio, which are very popular. It is one of the most respectful of your body. Thanks to it you will achieve an optimal physical condition, as well as improve chronic pain or postural pain. Pilates has many benefits for your health. Here we describe some of them:
It helps you become aware of your body posture and improve it.
During a Pilates session, the most important thing is to find your balance and well-being. Thanks to the different techniques and postures you will adopt during this session you will help your body feel better. You will improve the position of your back, chest, shoulders, abdomen, and legs. After several Pilates sessions, you will notice how your body posture is gradually corrected.
You will gain a lot of flexibility
In addition to an overall improvement in the health of your muscles, bones, and joints, you will gain flexibility in your body through the practice of Pilates. By stretching your body and lengthening your muscles, you will notice how your flexibility increases day by day.
You will learn to become aware of your breathing.
Each of the postures performed during Pilates classes is complemented by breathing. In this way, we learn to relax the body and accompany our movements with it. In addition, we will activate internal muscles that are only activated through correct inhalation and exhalation. This is the case of the transverse muscle, which is located in the abdomen and is a very important stabilizing muscle that is present in deep exhalation, coughing, or sneezing.
By taking your breathing into account during the practice of these exercises, you will learn to do them consciously, accompanied by your body.
You will feel wellness and relief in your joints.
This discipline is one of the most recommended when you lead a sedentary life. It consists of sequences of gentle movements that help to relieve joint pain and improve mobility.
Ideal for knee problems
One of the most common health problems, especially in older people, is knee pain. Pilates is one of the most beneficial exercises to keep your knees healthy and strong. Thanks to Pilates exercises you can recover from meniscus or cruciate ligament injuries.
Pilates is an ideal way to respect your body, both inside and out. It is an exercise that you can easily complement with other more dynamic activities such as walking or running. After a good Pilates session, you will notice how you not only exercise your muscles, but your mind will also feel the changes instantly.
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